Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Make Deep Meaning Making for Students

If what Tom Wujec (and cognitive scientists) say is true, we learn or make meaning through 3 ways: Ventral Stream (recognizes the “what” of something that your brain has previously labeled with a word “as in “Oh, that is a chair.”, Dorsal stream locates the object in physical space {the teacher’s desk is to the left of me, the projector is in front of me-the mental map our brain is constantly creating of our surroundings or of multi-part images like infographics or slides), and the third part is the Limbic system – it is our “gut” area – where we have emotional reactions to it. So, Tom speaks to how the EYE visually interrogates what we look at, the BRAIN processes  this in parallel with bits of information asking questions to create a unified mental model it enriches meaning, and the HEART [limbic] where we attach an emotional reaction all act in conjunction to activates a different part of the brain, for deeper learning. Wujec suggest that if we want others to create this deep meaning making, we should practice these 3 elements in our presentations:
  • Use images to clarify ideas
  • Interact with images to create engagement
  • Augment memory with persistent and evolving views

Wujec promotes the idea of “visual strategic planning” where everyone puts their ideas up for others to see- the act of "collectively and collaboratively building the image transforms the collaborations – it is a shared mental model” which develops much deeper meaning for us or for our students.

So, if Powerpoint is dead, then what can you use to help students involve all three areas of the brain as they are learning? Here are some suggestions which I have written about before in our Tuesday Tech Tips:

Creating Multimedia Timelines: http://practicaledtech.com/2014/11/17/practical-ed-tech-tip-of-the-week-creating-multimedia-timelines/

Thinklink: create interactive images that can contain pics, video, links etc. http://www.thinglink.com   [incredibly easy to use]

Haiku Deck –
visually stunning presentation tool amiable web version or app https://www.haikudeck.com

Visceral Video: short videos like The Black Death in 90 Seconds involve all three elements. Here is the example: http://www.nextvista.org/the-black-death-in-90-seconds/
Think how you can create an experience like this for your students or have them create it!

Tellagami https://tellagami.com it’s like creating an avatar video – very easy to use – iOS or Android app available in our app catalog.

Padlet Wall – you can always use post-it notes to promote Visible Thinking but you can also do it through technology, Padlet is like a virtual sticky note wall – easy to use and you can archive it for your students. http://padlet.com

Google Maps – gets better and better – check out Richard Byrne’s lesson on Google Maps: http://richardbyrnepresents.com/geography-beyond/

123D app Lets you create 3D scans of any object: www.123dapp.com

Book Creator app (www.redjumper.net/) or IBooks authoring tool (https://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/): put it all together in a way that allows interaction, great images and persistent, evolving views to deepen and reinforce learning.

Questions? Let me know.